A teaching union has slammed a Government policy that will see students having to resit their maths and English GCSEs if they don’t have a good enough pass.

The National Education Union says the move will increase workloads of teachers and damage the self-esteem of students.

The union’s announcement follows a report from the government about the effective teaching and delivery of English and mathematics in schools and colleges.

In a statement, the union’s assistant general secretary of education policy, Nansi Ellis, said the report from the Department for Education revealed just how much work teachers and college lecturers are doing to help support students who are forced to resit maths and English GCSEs.

‘Ridiculous policy will increase already excessive workloads of lecturers’

Nansi added: “It’s a ridiculous policy that will increase the already excessive workloads of lecturers and teachers and damage the learner’s self-esteem.

“The National Education Union’s members are telling us that colleges find it difficult to retain and recruit teachers in the subjects so the teaching and resits are causing logistical problems to the detriment of other curriculum areas.

“We’ve heard of colleges having to shut down temporarily to all students except those maths and English resits is so they can timetable teaching and for them to sit their exams.”

Union says forcing students to resit can be ‘extremely demotivating’

In addition, the union says that by forcing students to resit their maths and English GCSEs, can be ‘extremely demotivating’ and there are better ways of offering support to learners to gain the maths and English they need for their future learning and careers.

The Department for Education’s report was published this week and highlighted that there are a number of challenges about how teachers approach learning and teaching for their students.

The report also highlights organisational issues in dealing with large numbers of students over several sites for the resits.

The Department’s report states that students who did not achieve accepted standards for a GCSE Grade C in maths or English can view this as a failure and may lead to demotivating of students in re-engaging with the subjects.

However, the report also highlights that there is a stronger reaction from students when it comes to re-engaging with maths.

Forcing young people to resit GCSE exams

Earlier this month, college leaders said that forcing young people to resit GCSE exams can be detrimental and they would be helped with alternative qualifications.

A spokeswoman for the National Union of Students also highlighted that the government’s resit policy for GCSEs would ‘disproportionally affect students from disadvantaged backgrounds’ and also be ‘detrimental to social mobility’.

More information

The Department for Education’s report: ‘Effective practice in the delivery and teaching of English and Mathematics to 16-18 year olds’ and the National Education Union’s statement.